If you were to visit us in the village this week, you might ask, where are all the people? They are in their fields harvesting rice. This is what harvesting upland rice looks like for our neighbors.
The process they use is slow and labor intensive. With a blade they hold in their hand, they cut one stalk at a time and form a bundle in their other hand.
The bundles are then carried to the ridge where they are dried in the sun. They won’t be carried back to the village until harvest is finished.
Heidi and I were invited to visit a banggar in progress. A banggar is a contract a person makes in which he agrees to feed everyone a pork dinner if they work in his field for one day. More than 20 people showed up for the banggar we visited.
Before the people here understood any Bible truth, they were afraid to have visitors in their fields, especially foreigners, because they believed that the rice spirit would follow them when they left and that their rice would follow the rice spirit and they would have no food in the coming year. Trying to keep the rice spirit happy by keeping foreigners away was a small thing. There were many things the rice spirit required which kept our friends poor and unhealthy. We thank the Lord for the freedom our neighbors have found to enjoy the blessings around them.
Prayer and Praise:
- Harvest is off to a good start. Please pray that major storms will not damage the crop in the coming month.
- Please pray for grace and comfort for Russell and Nancy. Their daughter went to be with the Lord this past week.
- Please pray for rain for the Pacific Northwest so that many forest fires may be quenched, and air quality will improve.
- Please pray that we will be faithful as we teach and translate.
Thank you for your prayers.
Jonathan & Heidi